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I'd like to work on a comic page. I haven't worked on a comic page in forever!

2nd Thought:
Well, I don't want to start a new comic because that takes so much time.

3rd Thought:
I have that comic I started and have a lot of sketches and work already done on it. However, the pages I did aren't great. I need to re-do them.

4th Thought:
But before I re-do them, I need to re-script them. And also, when I started that story, I wasn't writing it to be a comic, so the whole story really needs to be scripted.

5th Thought:
But if I'm going to do a script, I need to know how I'm going to structure pages and speech bubbles. I need my pages to work individually AND in a sequence. I need scenes to flow together well. I need the environment and characters to be consistent. I need a lot more planning.

6th Thought:
To do that much planning, I need to know ALL the details of the story. IE: I have to FINISH THE STORY!

...I guess I better do some writing...
  • Listening to: Muse
  • Watching: Grimm
Yes, I know, long time no blog. But I've put up two new ones since my last post, and a third is coming soon on the same vein as these two. They have to do with dismantling your current reality and manifesting a new one.
Here's the linkage:
Dismantling the Illusion (Part I)…
Building Inner Reality (Part 2)…
If you're interested, I have also moved to Phoenix, AZ! Big change, taken up a lot of time lately, but now that I'm all moved in and officially a resident (got my driver's license today), I'm going to make sure I put my mind back on my less physical, more creative pursuits.
  • Listening to: some new favs on Pandora, such as Bitter:Sweet
  • Eating: Chimichurri Rice, Trader Joe's (good stuff!)
  • Drinking: 100% juice fruit & veggie, Ocean Spray
Yes! All 22 pages and cover now done. Won't be long now and TwilightPop will have it up and ready for download.
My focus now turns to issue 2, as well as my plans for moving in with my boyfriend. He actually moved away a few months ago after we dated for about 6 mo and got pretty serious, so rather than lose each other over a little thing like him living halfway across the country now, we are planning to move somewhere interesting in the near like next 6 months future. Don't know where or when yet; top cities on my list at the moment are Santa Fe and Phoenix. At one time I was thinking about Asheville, but I have grown tired of the South and wish to try living in a different environment, culturally and politically speaking. I'd love to move to Nor Cal but it's quite expensive to live there. Plan A is to win the lottery so I can pay off my bills and never have to work a day job again; still working on Plan B.
  • Listening to: Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Reading: the Vortex by Abraham-Hicks
  • Watching: Life, Eureka, and rewatching Supernatural
  • Playing: Pony Vallee
  • Drinking: pomegranite cranberry from Aldi
If you noticed the low level of activity, I merely would like to note that I'm still in progress on the graphic novel 1% Solution: ADMIN_Sublime. I'm about 1/4 of the way through!
  • Listening to: Alanis Morissette
  • Reading: Next Town Over webcomic
  • Watching: "Numbers" and "Bones", alterna
  • Playing: Tara Duncan
  • Eating: jalapeno & cilantro hummus
  • Drinking: cherry juice
I am officially published in Murky Depths magazine (British Fantasy Awards' Best Magazine 2010). I received my complimentary copies today. The 2 page spread looks so good, and it's so nice to have my illos on paper again. Not that I don't love them just as much in full color on ezines, don't get me wrong. The story is "Whisperer" by Craig Pay, who wrote me a lovely note:
"Hi Rachel, I'm the author who wrote Whisperer for Murky Depths #17. I've just picked up my complimentary copy of Murky Depths #17 and your artwork is fantastic! Just perfect. You even got a crayon! Amazing stuff."
If you're interested: They have PDFs and good old fashioned handheld paper copies.
  • Listening to: NIN: 34 Ghosts IV
  • Reading: Spirit Thief by Rachel Aaron
  • Eating: broccoli casserole (cheeeeezy)
  • Drinking: Northland dark fruits
Have you ever looked out at the ocean and felt its pull? Not to sail its surface on a ship, but to leave your life behind, trade your humanity for a mermaid's tail to live forever beneath that surface. Not to go set up house in a coral hut with a pet fish and a kelp lawn. No, the ocean calls you to move with the tides, swim forever on the currents beside sea turtles and whales.
This is how Darkness feels to me when I step outside and hear the cicadas calling, see the fireflies dancing. Like if I could transform into a creature of night, I could ride the wave and the wind of the night for all eternity.
It's not that I essentially want to be a vampire. I don't want to drink blood, certainly not sleep in a coffin, and though I'd like to be able to take care of myself should someone attack me, I don't want to scare everyone away.
But I want to possess the night, feel the essence of it flow freely within me. I want to feel passionate and be able to express that passion to my lover, to enchant and be enchanted.
So many times in my life it's like I want to be a mermaid, but not give up the land and the trees and mountains. My zodiac sign is Capricorn, and I always insist that the animal is a sea-goat with a fish tail. It's because I feel one part of me is high upon the mountains of the mind, while the other is deep within the ocean trenches of emotion. And there's only an awkward mish-mash of fantasy anatomy in between.
Perhaps rather than going full mermaid, one should strive to be a Selkie, a seal-person, who can remove their seal skin and walk the land in humanoid form too. Perhaps one can swim the ocean of Darkness and walk in the daylight too, appreciating both and also giving them both equal justice.
  • Listening to: Doobie Bros. - Little Darlin' I Need You
  • Reading: Kavalier & Clay (YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK!)
  • Watching: True Blood
  • Eating: baked potato
  • Drinking: Northland dark fruits
Finally! I have finished the new sample work for the revised ADMIN_Sublime graphic novel script!…
Also, I've updated my website and put together a couple of new "gallery" pages, collections of similar artwork. I have a Black & White Art gallery… and a Cell Color Art gallery… . Check it out!
  • Listening to: Golden Earring - Mad Love's Comin'
  • Watching: Torchwood
  • Playing: Gardens of Time (Steampunk finding objects!) on FB
  • Eating: salads
  • Drinking: orange juice
I am officially a published author! One of my short stories, "The 100th Universe," is in this month's ezine on The OG's Speculative Fiction. I'm so pleased! I'd love everyone to read it, when you have time, and let me know what you think.…
  • Listening to: stuff I stole off an old ipod my uncle found
  • Playing: smeet - very hard to earn coins without paying
  • Eating: chicken & veggies
  • Drinking: blackberry pomegranite
If you've been thinking of reading my Higher Dark blog and haven't done it yet, this is the week to dive in. Made a great connection this weekend and wrote about it. Not that it's more Dark that any other idea or entry, but it's BIGGER, more profound-like.
click this way:…
Anyway, I'll post the illo too, which turned out well I thought.
  • Listening to: Radiohead: Tourist
  • Watching: Xena (1st ) *dat-dah d'-dat-dah dah dah-dat-daaaa*
  • Eating: leftovers
  • Drinking: Northland superfruits acai/blue/blackberry
Okay, so obviously I'm keeping up with my blog on a weekly basis. I shouldn't need to post here as well as there
Rest assured there is much to be said on the Higher Dark, and I intend to say everything I can think of. I would love some feedback. Heck, I'm begging for some discussion. Any ideas you might have on the subject, please send them on and I'll write your thoughts into the mix!
I will continue to post the illustrations from each post in my gallery. Check there for weekly updates (or just hook up an RSS feed from wordpress).
Thanks as always for reading!
  • Listening to: Metallica S&M: Master of Puppets
  • Reading: Stephen King: Everthing's Eventual again
  • Eating: stir fry
  • Drinking: *singing* gogi berry, gogi berry juuuice!
Why do women love the Bad Boy? (and many men want to be him)

Motorcycles, tattoos, long hair, cheap sunglasses ... stereotype ... incarnations of the Bad Boy ... the dapper vampire ... greaser hot rod ... archetypes the Dark Prince and the Wild Man ... Abusers are real ... not idealizing ... bastards wouldn't have a chance ... deeper need ... hunger ... true Dark Man ... the Higher Dark ... something you miss within yourself ... Dark Side ... balanced in Dark and Light ... fall in madly love ... riding the Darkness ... ridden by the Darkness ... wise choices ... diving in and experiencing life headfirst ... trapped ... have some fun ... Bad Boy (or girl)
:D(for full text click here)…
  • Listening to: Radiohead: Scatterbrain
  • Reading: Harry Potter again
  • Eating: stir fry
  • Drinking: cheap juice from Aldi
Just a little FYI for Manga Studio users in case you have the same problem I did and get stumped:
I had several pages I created before, but now I wanted to change the order of the panels and spread them out more. So I needed to move the layers to a different page file.
In Photoshop you can just drag a layer into a different document and it copies it. But MS will not drag anything across pages.
I searched the net and help files but nothing answered my question.
I almost resorted to copy/pasting layers one by one, but then something occurred to me to try:
In your "layers" palette, select the panel folder you want to move. "Select All" on the page, and then go to "Edit" and "Copy". You can tell it's working when it blinkers a bit (especially if you use lots of layers like me). Then it will create a copied folder in your "layers" palette. You can then go to your other separate page file, hit "Paste", and it will paste your copied panel folder right in, layers, tones, text balloons and all!
I was so happy and relieved when this worked. Maybe I'm being silly but I'm a long time PS user and when anything doesn't work the same I get frazzled. Just takes some thinking outside the 'shop.
  • Listening to: The Who: Won't Get Fooled Again
  • Watching: Tinman
  • Eating: black bean casserole
  • Drinking: Ocean Spray cranberry pomegranate (was on sale)
This week's blog is about Jack Skellington and the happy monsters! My assessment of how they connect to my philosophy on Darkness. Good Nightmare:…
In other news, ADMIN script is finished, now moving on to re-doing the sample pages.
  • Listening to: Beatles: Good Morning
  • Reading: Sandman comics
  • Watching: Tinman
  • Eating: black bean casserole
  • Drinking: Ocean Spray cranberry pomegranate (was on sale)
All the news that's good etc etc
I have started a blog, finally, having decided there were some ideas I felt needed to be expressed directly rather than via the media of fiction and visual art. It's called the Higher Dark and can be found at
Also, ADMIN_Sublime, the graphic novel, is moving forward again. I just wrapped up a first draft of a script with the new material Scott provided. I have sent it back for his approval before I start in on the artwork side of it again. So, yay for that!
And the best for last: PUBLISHED STORY!! Or it will be soon. I had my story "the 100th Univerese" accepted by the OG's Speculative Fiction online magazine.… Best thing ever (at least so far)!
  • Listening to: Just Push Play - Aerosmith
  • Reading: re-read Tiffany Aching again, all 4
  • Watching: 1408
  • Eating: black bean casserole
  • Drinking: Ocean Spray cranberry pomegranate (was on sale)
Been a couple of months since I journaled (as per usual). The graphic novel is still on but we've backed up to the writing stage. The publisher who was interested suggested that the story needed more depth, so I suggested some things to Scott and he's currently working on it.
I have been practicing a new method of creative production. Well, not new, not even new to me, but I'm taking it more seriously than I have in the past. I have a schedule written out for every day of the week so that about a week or two in advance I decide one activity/project I'm going to work on each day. The idea is that when I get home from the day job, I don't have to deliberate about what to do. You see that tends to go something like this: "I've got all these things I could do. They're all important to me. Well, I should finish this short story. Meh, I don't really feel like writing. Okay, then I'll start on this art project. Hmm, I don't really feel like drawing either." and so on until I settle into a slump and feel like doing nothing at all, not even watching TV or reading.
Therefore if I already know ahead of time what I'm planning to do, I don't have to make a decision based on how I feel. I just do it (pardon the expensive shoe brand slogan). I also know that I'm getting all my priority projects done along with all my low priority but still need to be done things (like clean house, buy Christmas presents, talk to real human beings), because I planned it out ahead of time allotting equal amounts of time to each thing.
So far I've stuck with it fairly well. The trick is finding that balance between being flexible to work around real life obstacles (like yesterday was way too blustery for clearing the leaves out of the yard) while also being firm with myself to do what's on the schedule, not say "oh well I don't feel like that. Let's do something more fun."
What set me off was when I went to Fairy Con (YAY FUN!) I went to a panel of writers. One of them was Maggie Stiefvater, who is also an award-winning colored-pencil artist. During Q&A I asked her how she manages both art and writing and she said basically she does artwork one day and writing another day.
  • Listening to: Cliff's Edge - P. Swayze - Roadhouse Sdtk
  • Reading: Dean Koontz - False Memory
  • Watching: Fringe
  • Eating: chili w/ chunky veggies
  • Drinking: Jack & Red Rock ginger
It's so nice to have a real project! I was about a month ago contacted via email by Scott T. Swartz about doing all the artwork for a graphic novel and adapting the script from his short story ADMIN_Sublime. For six weeks that was all I did (hence why I have only just now journaled about it). So now we're virtually schlepping my five finished pages, 15 "storyboard" pages and the script around to various publishers and agents. It's a sort of crime noir / cyberpunk story, so finding an indie comics publisher looking for NOT offbeat realistic fiction (ie Ghost World, Blankets, etc.) and also NOT superheroes No really, it is stimulating to be doing something that could really boost my career, give me a real publication to run around at cons promoting and so on.
So...know any good comix publishers?
PS: addendum to my last entry about Manga Studio: I did in fact purchase MS Debut, and produced said five finished pages with it. I'm hooked. Soon as I get a little better financial situation, I may upgrade to the expert version. Once you figure out where all the buttons are and play with it enough to see what it can really do, it's so beautiful and convenient. You get pretty damn close to that hand-inked look while still retaining the beloved undo button.
  • Listening to: Creedence CR - Suzie Q
  • Reading: reading Fables comics at B&N
  • Playing: D&D tomorrow!
  • Eating: forty spice hummus
So I was reading Red Moon Rising on Thurs or Fri and a program called Manga Studio was mentioned. I was intrigued that it made the inking easier so I was eager to try it out.
So once I scrounged up a free demo version I found I had to remove and replace my drivers for my drawing tablet. Now my mom bought this tablet several years ago. Needless to say Wacom no longer has drivers for it on their site. So I had to Google around a bit until I found the right version.
Anyway, the program looks like a nice one, except that it's very sensitive to the way you use the pen. So between my tablet being rather small and my skills with it being minimal, I'm not sure I'll get a lot of good out of it without a lot of practice. If I wanted my comic to have a style that was very rough and loose, like say Two Keys webcomic, it might work great. But my Hotel comic I want to be pretty smooth most of the time, only deviating when things get weird and edgy. I know I'm a control freak, but I've gotten spoiled on being able to move my lines around after I draw them. This makes the Illustrator part of my process the most tedious, but the end product is more polished in my opinion.
I think I'll invest in a new, larger tablet before I pay $50 for Manga Studio, but maybe someday...
  • Listening to: Nine Inch Nails - Ghosts I-IV
  • Watching: Dharma & Greg
  • Drinking: smoothie
Future Fire entered my illustration for their issue #16 for Galatea's Stepchildren in the ezine covers of 2009 contest on  Please go and vote for me (it's about halfway down the page)

Here's the place:…

Thanks bunches!  And thanks to editor Djibril for entering me!
  • Listening to: Bad Company
  • Eating: leftover turkey
  • Drinking: grapefruit juice
just a note to all (whether you frequently visit or have merely stumbled upon my page), I am not really open for commissions right now.  I say this because I had this really nice guy ask me for a personal, original piece, and I had to turn him down and steer him towards my prints, and I really don't want anyone else to be disappointed.  I am currently getting cranked up on making a webcomic, and it is going to be a tremendous project.  Imagine, if you will, (and I know my comic-writer watchees would appreciate this) a stage show that is
all costumes and sets built (I actually built a model of the setting in Google SketchUp)
and performed
by one person.
Put it in 2-D and that would be a webcomic.
(okay I know many comics have a team of a writer and an artist or two but I am not in that position)  And I don't want my comic to update only when I have time for it; I want it to be regular as clockwork, even if it's only one page a week or less. And be high-quality artwork.  And above all be a good story.
That plus ideas for prints and character pieces to sell on (coming soon!) means I am not anxious to take on anything else unless it inspires me greatly.  Working for no reason but the money is what the day job is for.
  • Listening to: Ocean - Five for Fighting
  • Watching: Criss Angel: Mindfreak (I think I'm in love)
  • Eating: pork chop w/ spiniach & mushrooms
  • Drinking: homemade cherry-limeade!
Well, I am now officially a professional illustrator.  The Future Fire ezine has put my illustration for "Galatea's Stepchildren" by Sam S. Kepfield on the cover of this month's issue… . Thusly I have been paid a whopping $20 and I'm ecstatic!  They even made the first illo a 2-page spread in the PDF version.
I encourage everyone to go and read the stories in this issue, and continue reading all other issues.  There's quite a lot of talent there.  They are somewhat graphic of course, but the stories are almost always good.
  • Listening to: Busted by MB20
  • Watching: Supernatural
  • Drinking: homemade cherry-limeade!